NFU statement regarding school fees in Norway

The General Assembly of NFU unanimously supports the movement resisting school fees for international students from outside EU/EØS and Switzerland and applauds the strong opposition from the higher education sector and parts of the political parties. As a global development research community, we are deeply worried about the consequences these fees will have on the quality and relevance of education and research in Norway.

In a time when we lift the Sustainable Development Goals as a common global project, we need knowledge, perspectives and cooperation that include all regions of the world. School fees do not only affect individual students, but the entire higher education system in Norway. The quality and relevance of our education will be weakened, as we will miss important critical perspectives and be more narrow-minded. As researchers and educators within the field of global development, we know how teaching a truly international student group challenges all involved and leads to a unique co-creation of knowledge. In addition, relationships between students from different places have lasting effects and create bonds that lead to more cooperation in research and current or future workplaces. If these school fees become a reality, Norway will lose both in terms of quality of education and research, and international networks.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that in a world that is ever more connected, the plurality and diversity brought by students from different parts of the world can help Norway become a more rounded and inclusive country.

The introduction of these school fees for students from outside EU/EØS and Switzerland can be seen as discriminatory and cause students from other parts of the world to not feel welcomed, which in the long run will be detrimental to Norwegian educational environment.

Therefore, we at NFU stand in opposition of these fees.

NFU Chairwomen speaks on Skolepenger

There is an ongoing discussion in Norway regarding a proposition for students outside of the EU/EØS  and Switzerland to start paying tuiton when they chose to study in Norway.

Proposition 68L (2022-2023) has raise a ,ot of opposition with several organizations and universtities, such as SAIH, Universitet i Agder, NTNU and others standing against it. They all fear that this will create a barrier for students to come to Norway as well as being a starting point to start charging tuition to all students in the future.

NFU chairwoman, Arnhild Leer-Helgesen states that “The implementation of school-fees for students outside Europe/EØS and Switzerland is a serious backlash for the quality and relevance of higher education and research in Norway. To face the multiple crisis in the world we need more exchange of perspectives and knowledge, not less. The contribution of students and researchers from the so-called “Global South” to co-creation of knowledge, is heavily underrated. With this cut, adding to cuts in funds for research in the broad field of global development, Norway has less capacity to develop the knowledge we need to contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”

If you wish to join the fight against the introduction of skolepenger, sign the petition started by SAIH:

Meet NFU: Student Coordinator

This week we would like to introduce our student coordinator Julia Baldanza. Julia has been working with us at NFU since the beggining of September 2022.

She joined NFU because she believes that having a strong network connecting people working in development is important to allow them to share experiences and enrich the field and she wanted to contribute to making that happen.

Her main tasks are providing support for our board and being in charge of the social media accounts, as well as serving as a point of contact for those who wish to publice upcoming events, courses, conferences and workshops. If you would like to have NFU publicize your event, please reach out to her through .

She is currently a master’s students in Global Development at the University of Agder and is writing her thesis with a focus on gender and health. Her main topics of interest are gender and politics.

Coming from South America, she believes that the development field is important because it can be essential in changing our world and that the latests changes in the field allowing for more perspectives from the global South to be heard show how much the field has to grow.

Development, Learning and Education: Post-pandemic Considerations

The 6th joint Nordic Development Research Conference, June 21-22, 2021, ONLINE, by  the University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Call for papers for 15 exciting open working groups : DL 9th April 2021   

The conference invites abstracts for papers to be presented from development research scholars from every career stage. All abstracts should be submitted for consideration in the accepted working groups. The working group coordinators will evaluate them and make decisions on their acceptance/rejection. The authors are requested to indicate a primary and a secondary working group for which s/he wishes the paper to be considered. The abstract of maximum of 400 words should be submitted in English (or Spanish for the bilingual working group) latest on 9th April 2021. The decisions will be communicated by 30th April 2021.  The submission should be done through the conference system: find the abstract form here.  We do not accept abstracts submissions by email.   The authors are advised to have a close look at the available working groups before submission and relate their abstract with the overall theme of the working group. All the working groups will be conducted online. Please see the detailed descriptions of working groups here. The journal Forum for Development Studies will publish a Special Issue on the best papers of the conference. The special issue will be guest edited by selected members of the organizing committee, who will do the initial selection for the papers to be included and provide one round of editorial comments during August-October before authors’ submissions for the final blind review process. If you would like your paper to be considered for the special issue, please send you conference paper no later than 25th June in the conference email Please indicate “FDS special issue” in the subject field of your email.

NFU General Assembly

Dear NFU members,

We would like to remind you and share the meeting link for our virtual General Assembly 2020-2021. We have already emailed the link to the members. However, many of the emails have bounced back. If you have not received the email, you can fill in your working/updated email address on the form below so that we can send you the meeting link again.


  1. Constitute meeting and approve agenda
    1. Election of General Assembly Chair and two reporters
    2. Approval of agenda
  2. Board changes
  3. NFU Annual Report 2020
  4. Annual plan and budget for 2021
  5. Master thesis award
  6. Debate: NFU strategic planning for development research
  7. Incoming business

We look forward to seeing you.

General Assembly 2020-2021

NFU is pleased to invite all the members for the NFU General Assembly 2020-2021. As much as we would have preferred a physical gathering, we are obliged to host the assembly digitally this year. Nonetheless, we look forward to a meaningful discussion.

Mark your calendar

Date: 15th February 2021

Time: 18:30 (Oslo time)

Platform: Zoom (link to be shared soon)


  1. Constitute meeting and approve agenda
    • Election of General Assembly Chair and two reporters
    • Approval of agenda
  2. Board changes
  3. NFU Annual Report 2020
  4. Annual plan and budget for 2021
  5. Debate: NFU strategic planning for development research
  6. Incoming business

European Development Conference 2021: Solidarity, Peace and Social Justice

The biannual conference for The European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) will be held 5 – 8 July 2021, Online. The conference will address inequality, poverty and political marginalization, also in connection with climate change and other environmental threats. For full details and how to register for panels, workshops, and roundtables, see

Membership free for 2020-2021!

Register for membership today! Are you a student, PhD candidate, scholar or practitioner working in the (broadly defined) development field and studies? We would like to have you as a member! You will receive relevant updates on events, conferences, job offers, publications and more. Simply register at our Membership page. It is free!

Update on Master thesis

Do you have a former student or have you written an excellent master thesis within the broad field of development studies?

The Norwegian Association for Development Research (NFU) offers the Master Thesis Award 2019-2020 and a chance to win 5000 NOK.
The winner will in addition have the chance to develop their thesis into a publishable journal article, working together with NFU board member Frida Bjørneseth. The development field is broadly defined, and is not confined to the Global South. We accept submissions that are examined at a Norwegian institution and students must register as member of NFU – free of charge in 2020 and 2021!

The deadline is 10 December 2020. Please click here to submit your thesis.